dinsdag 29 december 2015

Discouragement

By this time my regular readers must have noticed the disappearance of yet another homemaking blog. The lady owner got discouraged by the negative remarks of people around her, including her own family, on her choice of occupation and ended up deleting it.

It's certainly true that society is sometimes downright hostile to housewives, especially in some countries/regions, but more often than not, you will be just viewed with cold indifference. People are generally self-centered, and having raised an eyebrow or two, they will usually return to contemplating their own problems.

It can be different on the internet which often serves as a magnifying glass, and, unfortunately, many women have become victims of planned troll attacks. Here one rule applies: if you can't stand heat, get out of the kitchen. Whether we like it or not, internet is a public space and it attracts all sorts of folks from basically everywhere on Earth. Some of them are freaks and perverts, or simply downright nasty, sadistic individuals who enjoy bullying others they disagree with. In real life they risk unpleasant consequences for this type of behaviour, so they engage in it online.

Though I perfectly well understand blogging fatigue and the desire to keep private things private I think that as adults we should be able to persist in doing what we think is right ignoring naysayers. We shouldn't expect lavish praise for our choices, either. As Helen Andelin wrote in Fascinating Womanhood, having the moral courage to do the right thing no matter the consequences is the basis of good character.

Running the household well isn't considered important nowadays yet there are still lots of women who choose full time homemaking as their profession. Some only for a couple of years, while the children are small, others even though childless or empty-nesters. Lots of them have blogs where they discuss things they do at home, positive things, such as organising birthday parties for their kids, or interior decorating, or cooking or gardening or other things. There are also lots of homemakers in real life, so why not concentrating on the positive instead of negative?

We also are blessed with YouTube where one can watch old TV shows such as I Love Lucy presenting homemaking in a positive light. In a way, it's probably easier to be a homemaker now than it was in the 1990s, before the internet. We should all try to support each other, online and in real life, too. If you know a lonely homemaker, please invite her to a cup of tea!

zaterdag 26 december 2015

What Are You Getting For Christmas?

I hope you all haven't overindulged at Christmas dinner:






P.S. They say 15% of all internet traffic is cat-related:)

vrijdag 25 december 2015

Merry Christmas!!!

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.


Quoted from here

donderdag 24 december 2015

Recipes for Comfort

by Gooseberry Patch. Not exactly a review, but more of a recommendation:)



Someone gave me this book and let me tell you, it's great! So far I have tried several recipes and they all turned out fine. The book is divided into following parts:

Savoury Morning Fare
Comforting Suppers and Sides
Warming Soups and Stews
Homemade Breads and Rolls
Gooey Sweet Treats

I posted one of their recipes with certain adjustments on this blog just last week. I'm not that much into Soups myself, but I appreciate that they have so many good breakfast and lunch ideas. Actually, it's more lunch for me, since I don't like heavy breakfasts. The recipes include pancakes, toast, sandwiches, scones, waffles, coffee mixes, egg dishes, cakes, muffins, you name it!

The recipes featured in that book aren't high cuisine or very sophisticated but they are budget variety, easy to make and result in hearty meals. Add to this cute drawings, and you'll get an ideal book for home cooks. Of course, I might be just a bit prejudiced since I've been a fan of Gooseberry Patch cooking books for quite some time.

I'd recommend Recipes for Comfort for everyone interested in American style cooking, and especially, in baking.

PS: Here  is the link to the recipes on their website. 

dinsdag 22 december 2015

Finnish Christmas



H/t to Miriam from Finland. I thought it was too good to get buried in the comments. Here is what Miriam wrote:

It's all about 24th, from noon on, when the declaration of Christmas peace is given in Turku. It is quite important for those who live in Turku, but also all over Finland. It can be watched in Tv or listened in radio. After that, churches are bursted with people, because almost everyone wants to attend a Christmas afternoon/Eve service. Even more people visit graveyards, decorating graves with candles. It is important to go to sauna at some point before dinner and gifts. Quite a busy day :-)

UPDATE: Here are the words of the military march that is played last, courtesy of Wikipedia:

Sons of a race whose blood was shed,
On Narva's field; on Poland's sand; at Leipzig; Lützen's dark hills under;
Not yet is Finland's manhood dead;
With foemen's blood a field may still be tinted red!
All Rest, all Peace, Away! begone!
The tempest loosens; lightnings flash; and o'er the field the cannon thunder
Rank upon rank, march on! march on!
The spirit of each father brave looks on as brave a son.

No nobler aim
Could light us to the field;
Our swords are flame;
Nor new our blood to yield;
Forward each man, brave and bold!
Lo! the glorious path of Freedom, centuries old!

Gleam high! Thou banner Victory-sealed!
In the grey bygone days, long since, all battle-worn,
Be still our splendid colours, though tattered, onward borne!
Of Finland's ancient Standard there's yet a shred untorn!
H/t to Housewife from Finland

zondag 20 december 2015

The Fourth Sunday Of Advent






We were late with our Christmas decorations this year, but then I always let my tree stay till after the Epiphany.





There are still cards to be done! Please raise your hands all those who hate doing Christmas cards:)





This year for various reasons, we opted for a very small celebration in the family circle. The meat is already in the freezer, gourmet sets allow for a budget celebration with a variety of meat sorts, add a salad or two, French bread and some frozen veggies plus ice-cream as a dessert and you have a Christmas dinner.





Are you all ready for Christmas and what are you planning to do?


vrijdag 18 december 2015

Lunch Ideas: Buttermilk Pancakes






The original recipe comes from Gooseberry Patch Recipes for Comfort, with some adjustments.

For 12 pancakes, you will need:

1c flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 TBSP sugar
1 egg
2 TBSP melted butter plus enough to grease the skillet
1c buttermilk

In a bowl, combine all the ingredients, mix together. Place one tablespoon of batter onto greased skillet, repeat two more times so that you can cook three pancakes simultaneously, like this:




When bubbles appear, flip the pancakes and cook ab 1 more minute:





Makes for a great budget lunch.

dinsdag 15 december 2015

Homemaker's War Guide


Click on the image to view full-size.


Courtesy of this website (as I understand it's not copyrighted)

zondag 13 december 2015

Murphy's Law And An Important Announcement

If things can go wrong, they WILL go wrong! 

It took us the greatest part of the weekend, but we are finally so far: we successfully converted a PDF file into an ePub, so now my book is also available as a proper ebook from Lulu for the price of only 4$:

The Long Way Home ebook

We also corrected some mistakes, which persisted despite multiple editing we'd done before the book went into print.  It's temporarily available only from Lulu, but next year we hope to republish it and make it available on Amazon and also through all the normal retail channels.

Look no further for a proper Christmas present: Support this blog, buy a book:)

vrijdag 11 december 2015

An Amazing Story Of Enrico Dandolo

Enrico Dandolo was a Venetian nobleman who later was elected Doge. Born in 1107, he spent most of his life on diplomatic missions. In 1171, at the age of 64 he accompanied Doge Vitale Michiel on a retaliatory military campaign against Constantinople which proved to be a disaster. He survived a plague epidemic and returned back to Venice only to be appointed an ambassador to the city a year later.

Around this time Enrico started losing his eyesight, as a result of a head wound which he presumably acquired when he was attacked by the mob in the streets of Constantinople though there is little information on the exact circumstances of his injury. By 1176 he appears to have been legally blind which didn't prevent him from fulfilling his duties. In fact, in the following years he twice travelled to Sicily as an ambassador to the King and went back to the city which he hated in 1183, to negotiate the restoration of the rights of the Venetians.

In 1192, when he was 85, Enrico became the next Doge. Despite his age, he was still very ambitious. In 1194 he undertook the currency reform which made Venetian money the dominant currency in the region for the coming years but that was not all. 10 years after his election, when Dandolo was 95 (yes, you read it correct), he decided it was time to go to war and thus took part in the fourth Crusade which sacked Constantinople so that he finally could pay back for all his humiliations.On the way to the city crusaders also sacked the Hungarian town of Zadar simply because they could which led to their excommunication but Enrico didn't seem to care.

Constantinople fell in 1204, and Dandolo played the leading role in this event. As a result, Venice gained the rights to 3/8 of the Byzantine Empire and one would think that at the ripe old age of 97 it would be enough for Enrico, but he apparently just tasted victory and wanted more so he went to fight against the Bulgarians. The crusaders lost that battle and Enrico died 3 weeks later, probably from disappointment, at about 98 years of age.

His son Raniero survived him only by 4 years since he was killed in battle in 1209 but his granddaughter Anna married into European royalty and became the Queen of Serbia. It's unclear whether Enrico had other children besides Raniero, but it's certain that he was married while being a Doge, probably to a much younger woman whose name was Contessa. Raniero appears to have been his son from his first marriage because he apparently already had children of his own at that time and even served as vice-doge during his father's absence.

You can read more about this remarkable man  over here.

dinsdag 8 december 2015

1930s Fashions Part 2: Footwear Edition

A gentleman will always be recognised by his shoes:






Bodoir fashions:





Sturdy outdoor footwear:





Men's shoes actually used to have quite considerable heels:



Those aren't exactly shoes, but I found it a cute ad: boys' play clothes:





Something for summer:





zaterdag 5 december 2015

Career Women, Feminism And Marriage

There are a lot of misconceptions going around about what is feminism and who is a feminist. The most simplistic explanation is that since feminism supposedly benefits women, every woman=feminist. Of course, as I have pointed out in this blog post, it doesn't benefit all women equally, because it's not what it's meant to do. Modern feminism was invented with one objective only, the destruction of the Western traditional family and those who are behind it pretty much succeeded.

However, this is probably too complicated for some people to grasp so that they frame it as sorely women's fault and women's responsibility, and spend considerable amounts of time bashing all women in general and career women in particular. Now, it's certainly true that career women appear to be the greatest beneficiaries of feminism and often its most vocal supporters, however, there is no rule without an exception, as the Romans used to say.

Let's look at an average girl growing up in a "good family". It's nearly certain that her parents (often fathers) will push her to continue her education after she finishes school, so that she "makes something out of herself". There are several reasons for that. First, it's pretty much expected nowadays in those circles and you don't want to be the only loser whose daughter didn't graduate university. Second, it'll give her a better opportunity at catching a decent husband. Third, if she stays single or gets divorced she'll have means to support herself (try to find a job as a middle-aged lady without professional education in modern economy and you'll understand what I mean).

The point is, the society changed in such a way that young middle class women are encouraged by pretty much everybody in their lives to enter careers with an idea that a suitable man will simply appear out of the thin air a couple of years later. Once you start living on your own and work a regular full time job and get older, it becomes very difficult to find a husband. You are often exhausted after the day in the office and dating is the last thing on your mind, plus there is still housekeeping to be done.

Women are often accused of having unrealistic standards. It's true, to a degree, but one can hardly expect a woman with a high earning potential and a respectable white collar job to marry a man not capable of earning a comparable income. It's not in the women's nature to marry down and neither will their families approve of it. The whole situation is a mess and both men and women suffer from it. Western civilisation through the ages created certain mating rituals which got disrupted in the recent years, often with tragic consequences.

If there is a young single lady reading this blog I'd like to point out that the best age of searching for a husband is in your 20s and early 30s and that if you want to have a husband and a family, you should take efforts to achieve it. It won't just happen. Well, sometimes it does, just like some people win a million dollars in a lottery, but usually you have to do something for it. Jane Austen's novels where a heroine simply realises she's always been in love with her best friend and he proposes right away, are fine as entertainment, but they are not real life!

donderdag 3 december 2015

1930s Ads: Fashion

 Some of the ads from my vintage collection:






Also featuring gentlemen:









This one is rather naughty by 1930s standards:




A society event:





Vintage bathing suits:




woensdag 2 december 2015

A Brief Hiatus

I didn't intend to disappear, but was somewhat distracted by other things. Will try to post tomorrow!

zaterdag 28 november 2015

An Ode To Romantic Love

Gipsy Trail by R. Kipling:

The white moth to the closing bine,
  The bee to the opened clover,
And the gipsy blood to the gipsy blood
  Ever the wide world over.

Ever the wide world over, lass,
  Ever the trail held true,
Over the world and under the world,
  And back at the last to you.

Out of the dark of the gorgio camp,
  Out of the grime and the grey
(Morning waits at the end of the world),
  Gipsy, come away!

The wild boar to the sun-dried swamp,
  The red crane to her reed,
And the Romany lass to the Romany lad,
  By the tie of a roving breed.

The pied snake to the rifted rock,
  The buck to the stony plain,
And the Romany lass to the Romany lad,
  And both to the road again.

Both to the road again, again!
  Out on a clean sea-track --
Follow the cross of the gipsy trail
  Over the world and back!

Follow the Romany patteran
   North where the blue bergs sail,
And the bows are grey with the frozen spray,
   And the masts are shod with mail.

Follow the Romany patteran
  Sheer to the Austral Light,
Where the besom of God is the wild South wind,
  Sweeping the sea-floors white.

Follow the Romany patteran
  West to the sinking sun,
Till the junk-sails lift through the houseless drift.
  And the east and west are one.

Follow the Romany patteran
  East where the silence broods
By a purple wave on an opal beach
  In the hush of the Mahim woods.

"The wild hawk to the wind-swept sky,
  The deer to the wholesome wold,
And the heart of a man to the heart of a maid,
  As it was in the days of old."

The heart of a man to the heart of a maid --
  Light of my tents, be fleet.
Morning waits at the end of the world,
  And the world is all at our feet!
 
Quoted from here. 

donderdag 26 november 2015

Leave Me Where I Am I'm Only Sleeping...

I dedicate this song to all of ladies of leisure out there - it should be made our hymn:



P.S.Here goes a disclaimer:

 I'd urge my readers to realise that at least half of everything on this blog is written tongue-in-cheek. Housewives are often accused of being lazy bonbon eaters, so I agree and amplify. And I do really love bonbons, though unfortunately, I'm allergic to chocolate. In reality, what I'm doing at home I see definitely as work, it's just different from what my husband does.

P.P.S. Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers!

dinsdag 24 november 2015

The Freedom To Be Yourself

I have been thinking that though our society promotes "tolerance" and "freedom of choice" it will attack those who are not in line with liberalism just as often as the traditional society attacked those not in line with traditionalism (if not more).

What does it mean for a homemaker? First, you aren't supposed to like to be at home. If you are a mother of small children, it's OK to talk about great sacrifice you made when abandoning your career and how one day you are planning to return back to the workforce or to start your own business or whatever. Or, alternatively, you constantly have to prove how busy you are. You aren't expected to have any leisure time or, at least, not to admit to it publicly.

And, yet, though there are definitely women who enjoy to be out and about and working outside home, there are also plenty of ladies who prefer staying home even without/with grown children. Some of them are into crafts, others have a busy social life, or may be, they just spend their days with a book on a couch. It's really none of our business how they choose to live their life and yet they are constantly under attack, sometimes from their own relatives. This ostracism makes it difficult for an average woman to admit that she actually likes being home.

Another example is clothes. Again, we are considered to be pretty tolerant and yet you are expected to daily wear a uniform of jeans and t-shirts, with may be a rather short skirt in between, but if you try to violate this rule, especially if you are seriously into modest or historical type of clothes, you will be ridiculed or, at least, raise a few eyebrows. Women in the West aren't supposed to be modest, quite the opposite.

When I was younger, I was often hurt by the remarks of others concerning my "alternative" lifestyle, but with years I simply ceased to care. Yes, I will freely admit that sometimes I feel myself  "a lady of leisure", that I brunch or lunch with friends while my husband works long hours to provide, that I like shopping and pretty things, that though I like cooking I seldom spend more than an hour making dinner, that when the day is sunny I will abandon housework and spend a morning sunbathing in a friend´s garden, that I watch silly TV series like Keeping Up Appearances and that I would choose an afternoon with a trashy novel above making Power Point presentations in the office.

I´m writing all this not to try and say that good housekeeping isn´t important. Of course, it is, just like cooking nutritious meals and having a tight grip on your finances. I´m also not trying to insinuate that it´s OK to be lazy. It´s just that life at home is more flexible than the rigid working hours of a factory or an office, and once the children are older, you can afford more time for friends and hobbies, and, unless your husband complains, you shouldn´t really feel guilty about it.

Personally I admire women who dare to come out and admit they like frilly feminine things, those who dare disregard the modern conventions and will, for instance, wear long dresses or spend their days embroidering instead of making money. They are brave enough to live their life in the way they see fit, without asking the approval of others first. It´s actually a crazy thing when a woman will write in comments that she would like to dress more femininely but fears the reaction of others. Life is actually too short to pay attention to this nonsense.

If people claim to be `pro~choice` they should accept that some of us will choose a traditional lifestyle.

zondag 22 november 2015

The Scriptures And Open Borders

Were the borders open in Biblical times? Are border checks and visas a modern invention? Did the countries even have borders back then? I found an interesting article dealing with this issue. Below is an excerpt:

The very positive statements about the treatment of strangers in the Bible, some of which were already quoted, show compassion for the alien in ancient Israel. The defenders of illegal aliens point to these passages as the rationale for rewriting current laws. The problem is that they make a simplistic correlation between the ancient Israelite social law and the modern situation as if the Bible was addressing the same problem. Three important questions must be raised before one attempts to apply Israelite law to the modern situation: 1) Was there such a thing as territorial sovereignty in the second millennium B.C. when these laws originated; 2) Within that socio-legal setting, what was a “stranger” or “sojourner;” and 3) How does one obtain this status? 

If you are interested, read the whole article over here.

zaterdag 21 november 2015

Healthy Foods: Teff






Teff (Eragrostis Tef) is another of the Biblical crops. Though it probably comes from Ethiopia, it was found in the pyramids of Egypt which are 5500 years old.

It's a traditional crop in Ethiopia and Eritrea, but since recently also cultivated, among others, in the Netherlands and the USA. Why such sudden popularity? The fact that it's low in gluten (English Wiki claims that it's completely gluten-free, but I will go with the Dutch version) makes teff attractive for people with celiac disease,  but teff also has a high calcium content, a lot of vitamins and minerals (such as thiamin, magnesium, zinc), a lot of iron and it is also rich in protein and contains all 8 essential amino acids.

When I first saw it in a supermarket I was intrigued and after reading about it, decided to give teff a try. Today we ate it for breakfast. The package you see is actually a mixture of teff, corn flour and rice flour, you have to add 5 to 6 table spoons of this stuff to a cup of cold or hot milk, and your breakfast is ready. It was rather neutral in taste, but it didn't taste weird or something. I found it definitely better than quinoa. Teff is pricy, but it's still cheaper than the instant breakfast made of spelt.

If you are interested, read more about teff over here. 

donderdag 19 november 2015

Homemaking Or Career?

I had some intellectual posts planned but since by now I'm thoroughly sick of all the unpleasantness around, I'm taking down the previous post and leaving you with episode 2 of I Married Joan, a cute 1950s sitcom. Enjoy:


dinsdag 17 november 2015

For My American Readers

I'm getting rather upset by so much misinformation on the interwebz about gun laws in France. I realise Americans love their firearms and consider their possession to be the solution of all problems (though the USA seem to be marching down the cliff together with the rest of the West), but in my opinion, one should always first inform himself on the matter before making statements on the net.

The possession of firearms is NOT prohibited in France, it's regulated. Fully automatic weapons are prohibited, semiautomatics including handguns are subject to licensing, other types of firearms should be registered while historical firearms (according to this site it includes revolvers, while that one denies it) are free for everyone. It's really not that difficult to acquire a license and according to the Dutch site I've linked above many stores don't even ask for it. (More on gun laws in France here and here).

While I'm not sure where they stand on concealed carry, the truth is that people in Europe usually don't take weapons with them while attending a hard rock concert or drinking a beer in a cafe because it's generally safe over here, outside of certain neighbourhoods (though it's becoming less so). People purchase guns to protects their homes and other property (shops) from burglary, they don't go through the day planning on participating in a firefight with terrorists (which may change very soon, unfortunately).

There is really little excuse for so much ignorance in the age of broadband:)

maandag 16 november 2015

R.I.P.

Today Europe mourns for her sons and daughters. May they rest in peace. We won't forget those responsible.

By Popular Demand...

I'm finally going to post the pictures of what I'm usually wearing at home (well, at least, some of the outfits). All the photos were taken the week before last. Please excuse the quality, as there is a couple of not very successful selfies and some pics taken in the evening.






This is a the skirt I knitted recently. Here is a close-up:





The same skirt with a different t-shirt:





The next skirt I found in a second-hand store, it's a Danish brand.





Making dinner:





Going on a visit, with a different shirt:





This dress I bought online:





I'm afraid it's not much, as I usually wear the same skirt for a couple of days, just switching blouses.
I hope it'll cheer you up, after the horrible events of the past weekend! (Not that we ever forget it, though).



zaterdag 14 november 2015

The Battle Of Algiers

Have been wanting to write about this movie long ago, now it looks like a good time for it.

The Battle Of Algiers is an Italian 1966 film which shows both how terrorist tactics were used to reach  certain objectives and how they were dealt with by the French back in the less liberal 1950s. The movie is in French with English subtitles:




WARNING: contains scenes of violence and torture, not suitable for children.

vrijdag 13 november 2015

Just Another Day In France...

Paris shooting:

Scores killed and injured after 'Kalashnikov and grenade attacks' across French capital


donderdag 12 november 2015

Celtic Calendar

Apparently, according to Celtic/Gaelic calendar, it's already winter, since November (Samhain) is the first winter month. It does make sense from the point of view of the days getting extremely short and the general darkness of the season. For about a week already it's been getting dark at around 4 p.m. over here, and even earlier, though today the sun came out and the temperatures are more suitable for spring than for winter.

Samhain was also the name of the precursor of the modern Halloween and it was an important pagan festival, marking the end of the harvest season, as you probably know. It's interesting that in The Hobbit Tolkien mentions something about the old dwarves' calendar where the New Year began in November, so you can see where he got it from.

In ancient Rome, on the other hand, the year originally began in March (September = the seventh month, October = the eighth month, November = the ninth month with December being the last, tenth month and the winter days originally not belonging to any month at all). In the times of Julius Caesar it did already begin in January. Caesar further reformed the calendar, by, among other things, adding ten additional days and thus making the official year 365 days long.

He also apparently changed the length of the week, as in the times of the Republic Romans still were using the original Etruscan system of the 8-day week with one designated market day.

It's interesting that in different countries the year began on a different day. 1 November by the Celts, 1 September in Byzantine Empire, 25 December in Anglo-Saxon England and yet since Julian Calendar became the official calendar of the Roman Catholic Church all the other calendars became eventually aligned with it, (and later with Gregorian calendar) so that the first of January officially became the New Year's Day.

The Ancient Roman civilisation is long gone, but its legacy still survives. Definitely something to think about.

maandag 9 november 2015

The Sacredness Of The Marriage Bond

Heaven knows, I've done my fair share promoting the marriage of convenience which in Dutch is called the marriage of understanding (as in using your brain while choosing the future marriage partner) however, I'd like to stress that in Western Christian tradition marriage has always been considered something more than a mere trade deal.

When you say, "I do", you create something  which has been considered very special from the time immemorial: what God hath brought together let no man put asunder. You create a new family which originally consists of the husband and the wife and later (hopefully) of their children, too. The Scriptures speak highly about marriage and point out that the relationship between the spouses is more important even than the ties between grown up children and their parents:

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. (Quoted from here)

Nowadays this very basic family unit is under assault from all directions. While many Christians get upset about the acceptance of alternative family arrangements like SSM, they often conveniently forget to mention the scourge of easy, no-fault divorce and its wide acceptance both in church and society.

While I think that divorce should not be entirely prohibited, it should be, in my opinion, restricted to certain extreme cases, fault should be proven in court and the other spouse should be able to contest it. As of now, the one who wants a divorce will always get it and the only reason people go to court is when they are fighting about custody and property division.

Divorce is the ultimate betrayal. It tears families apart and creates misery and poverty. Divorce is also oath-breaking, especially if the couple were married in church. For better for worse, till death do us part, becomes for better or never or simply until I get bored and can move on. I'd like to point out that our Germanic ancestors even in pre-Christian times considered oath-breaking one of the most despicable crimes, worthy of torments of Hell. (More on this topic here)

Marriage bond is meant to be the source of comfort for the couple, so when the life gets tough, they can support each other, instead of choosing an easy way out. No-fault divorce creates a situation when spouses start distrusting each other and even suspecting the worst, especially if someone in their circle of family and friends recently got divorced.

It's often especially devastating for the homemaker, who is left without means and forced to search for a job, which can be quite challenging if one spent years at home. Women have always competed with other women for resources which they primarily got through men. Even in our progressive times, most women still rely on their husbands' paychecks to make ends meet and easy divorce takes away any security they can have in their marriage. I'm convinced that no-fault divorce is the greatest threat to the traditional family which exists nowadays.

The other way the marriage bond is attacked is subtle and less obvious but nevertheless, it's a direct assault on the husband's position within the family. Gone are the days when the man was the king of his castle and his wife bore him children. In those days she used to be a housewife/homemaker nowadays, if she stays home at all, she is a stay-at-home mom or a queen bee. It's all about her and her children and the husband exists to function as an ATM and give her foot massages.

Childless couples are often denigrated and the idea that a woman whose children are grown should stay home for the sake of her husband is ridiculed or never even mentioned at all. In fact, I personally know someone who was once told by a church lady that she had no family since it was only her husband and herself at the time. The fact is that your husband is your family, he will stay with you after the children have left home and he doesn't like to feel that the only thing you need him for is his paycheck.

I know that some folks on the right are very cynical about the whole concept of romantic love, and I myself criticised it on this blog and pointed out that "love" alone  was an insufficient reason to get married, and yet, the concept of finding your Prince Charming, falling madly in love and living happily ever after persists in Western culture, the only culture in the world which enforced strict monogamy and thus raised the wife to the equal social standing with her husband and created the notion of marriage being more than just a business deal between familes and an instrument of getting a legal heir.

You may call it emancipation, I call it degeneration

zondag 8 november 2015

Something Positive For Sunday

These pictures were taken last week when we visited a zoo in the North of the country.

Alpaca's:








They are soft and cuddly and children adore them:)

Hudson wolves:









A nice group of predators, a lynx:





a tiger:





and a puma:




two bear cubs:

 and their mother:






some nice birdies:




















and lemurs, who first evolutionary theorists said were our ancestors, but now they are saying they are not. Nevertheless, I find them funny:




That was about all for today, till next time!


donderdag 5 november 2015

Is The Tide Turning?

Here is hope for all the homemakers out there who feel themselves attacked by others, sometimes even their own family, which is very frustrating. As the society is getting more liberal, it becomes increasingly tolerating to "alternative" lifestyles, including, incredibly enough, the families with the traditional division of labour.

So here is an excerpt from an advice column in an American newspaper:


Dear Amy: My sister lives across the country. She has been married for 33 years. They've raised two daughters who are now adults, but she's been living the most boring life ever!
I don't know how she could be happy doing nothing but cooking and cleaning for all these years. And then she has the nerve to criticize me for not having enough time in my day, when she has no clue what it's like to work full time.


There is more in the same style, including this:

I've asked her to write me a list of what she does all day. I've sent her lists of what I manage to accomplish in the three hours I have in my home, but she has declined to provide her list.

It's actually a typical line of attack, accusing a homemaker of doing nothing the whole day.

However, the advice the lady gets is not exactly what she expected, as Amy very bluntly tells her she was being rude and needs to apologise to her sister for criticising her choices:


She doesn't owe you or anyone else an explanation or justification for the choices she has made.
She also doesn't need to provide you a list of her daily activities so that you can pick it apart, looking for holes in her schedule. Your demands — and your assumptions about her — are disrespectful.

You see, placing individual choices above everything else has it's positive side, too!  Like my mother told me recently, it's the current year, you can be anything you want!


Read the whole exchange over here . H/t to Aaron Clarey

vrijdag 30 oktober 2015

You, Too, Can Live On One Income!

I'm always sorry to hear the news about someone staying home for years and then deciding to go back to work. The reasons cited more often than not are economical. Of course, it may happen that one's husband loses his job or becomes unable to work, but it's not always the reason. Let's be honest, Western economies are not exactly doing fine right now, prices grow higher, various forms of subsidies people in Europe grew accustomed to are disappearing, medical care becomes more expensive, etc etc.

Does it mean that you can't live on one income any more? I'd like to stress that here I'm talking about middle class families. Even a lower middle class man will earn the amount of money which the working class couple normally earn with two of them (since most married women over here only work past-time) , and yet there are enough of these couples having children and living just fine. Which means, if they can do it, you can do it, too! As someone pointed out to me, often it's not really the question of needs unmet, but rather about preserving a certain lifestyle.


When the family finances start going south, the temptation is often strong to try and keep up appearances, even if it means the wife and mother getting a job outside home. Middle class couples often have a certain standard to maintain, which becomes more important to them than anything else. Of course, it's my opinion, that even an average working class couple could live on one income considering the fact that they still qualify for some government freebies, but it would take a great deal of good management.

On the other hand, when money is not so tight, it's easier to become careless and start spending it like water, which will always ruin you in the end, no matter how much you earn. I'll just give you a personal example. I normally received a certain sum of money from my husband for weekly shopping and I managed to save enough that I could afford to get out and lunch with my friends from time to time.

We really didn't need to economise so I asked him to give me more money. My idea was to save it for hobby purposes (yarn, fabric, knitting magazines) and I was quite enthusiastic about it, however, after a couple of months I noticed that by the end of the week I had less money left than before, when the amount I received had been smaller. I just started buying more expensive brands and overall became more careless, which proves that if you don't exercise tight control on how much you really give out, you'll come into trouble.

If the family are committed to living on one income, they should take some tough decisions beforehand, including where they are planning to live, which school the children will attend (commuting is expensive), which car they are going to drive etc.

I remember reading a story in comments section of a newspaper about a guy who said that though his wife was a SAHM, by the end of the month they had more money over than his two-income relatives who were pretty resentful about the fact. He rented while they had a huge mortgage, he didn't need to pay daycare for his kids since his wife was home, he paid less taxes since he was the sole provider and thus lower income, his family didn't eat out so often, his vacations were probably not so luxurious and yet he and his wife were happy while the other couple were bitter. Priorities are everything!

In the end, it doesn't depend so much on what your husband earns, but rather, on what's more important for you. If it's your conviction that a married woman's place is her home, you'll do everything possible to make it happen. If you believe otherwise, well, it's a free country, after all. For those falling in the first category, I'd like to recommend this great article which also gives detailed suggestions on how to reduce expenses so that you, too, could stay home:

How Can I Afford To Stay Home?


dinsdag 27 oktober 2015

Am I The Only One...

Am I the only one who has problems switching from winter time to summer time and back? When the clock goes forward it always feels like they are stealing an hour of your life and you have to run the whole day to catch up. When the clock is getting bad it's kinda easier, but then suddenly it's dark one hour earlier. I realise summer time is good for economy and stuff, but is it really good for human beings? Also the meal times get changed, too.

In other news, World Health Organization came up with the news that red meat could "possibly" cause cancer (but they don't know for sure. Anyway, is there anything which doesn't cause cancer nowadays?). Here is an interesting take on the issue:

World Health Organization, meat and cancer.

Ladies and gentlemen, that was all for today Till next time!

vrijdag 23 oktober 2015

Isolation Of The Modern Life

Our modern society is getting increasingly atomised. When you read old books from 1930s and 1940s, you see that the big families were still very much in fashion and I don't necessarily mean those which had 19 children, though they no doubt, existed. Most people still had something between 2 and 4, partly due to higher childhood mortality, but they counted their extended family as family if you know what I mean.

From stories like Agatha Christie's we know that people kept track of all their cousins and nephews and nieces. If you had no children of your own, you would be even more invested in their well-being and often they would inherit after you. Unmarried sisters would stay in the family and do housekeeping for their single brothers, orphaned nieces would go live with their aunts and wealthy relatives saw it as their duty to support those of the family who were less fortunate.

None of it happens today. Nowadays you are on your own. You hardly ever see your cousins. If you have no children of your own, you are expected to adopt from 10 000 km away, instead of giving anything to your nephews or nieces, or paying their education or whatever. Widowed parents don't move in with their married daughters.  Church community hardly ever exists, especially in the case of megachurches. Most of your neighbours work the whole day, that is, if they even speak your language.

Modern urbanised lifestyle totally destroys any sense of community people had. It turns us into anonymous consumers whose life is determined solely by the stuff they buy and the vacations they take. Children are trained early in the consumer lifestyle. In the times past they were taught that they had a duty to their family, especially to their parents. Now the parents have a duty to them which chiefly consists out of buying the newest gadgets since mothers are encouraged to go back to work as soon as possible.

Homemakers feel even more isolated since the workplaces often organise socialising events so that people can connect to each other like having a drink after you working day is over or going somewhere all together. The only socialising encouraged noawadays is socialising in an institution. I still remember a government official saying several years ago that housewives were shut from participating "in society".

You see, in old books "society" is described as private parties people (especially wealthy people) had in their homes. Nowadays society is the office and the schoolhouse and the daycare. That's where "life" happens. Home is just a place to change your clothes and take a nap. You aren't supposed to spend much time there, especially when you are young.

How did things go so far? Well, part of it is deliberate planning and part of it is due to the changing mindset of people themselves. Welfare state took upon itself a lot of functions reserved for the family and feminism encouraged every woman to go to work and, of course, it was mostly women organising dinner parties and keeping track of the cousins and the nephews.  The funniest thing of it all is that after the liberal governments spent years building various care facilities to free the families from their traditional duties to their elderly, they are now cutting the expenses and closing nursing homes left and right, saying that it's "a family task". Yet "the family" as it was doesn't exists any more.

Liberalism also prevents healthy family formation by encouraging young women to spend their most attractive (and fertile) years studying, climbing the career ladder and partying instead of searching for a suitable husband. Their parents, who used to play a significant role in the process, often have no input at all, and are also hardly interested. The worst part of it is that even if you disagree with the whole thing, even if you try to teach your children differently, the world will still do its best to tear the families apart.

I know it all sounds quite depressing but yet there is a light in the end of the tunnel: this liberal society is not only government officials or liberal journalists or career women or whatever, it's also you and me and the neighbour lady. You can fight the atomisation by showing more interest in your fellow human beings, investing some time in cultivating friendships, visiting your family more often etc etc. Don't wait for the society to change, just do it.

 Fight against the temptation to shut yourself in your own little bubble, connect with others, especially with those like-minded. Offer them your support. Be pro-active, not reactive. Remember that your ancestors had it often more difficult than you do and yet they fought and they survived and they built the most amazing civilisation in the history of the world - the Western civilisation. Be proud that you are a part of it.


maandag 19 oktober 2015

Barbara Cartland On Women In Trousers

I personally think there is no occasion when a woman looks anything but nauseating in trousers. Women are not the right shape for trousers and never have been. There is some excuse for wearing them on board ship where you may have to climb up and down companion-ways, but when I see women with enormous behinds wobbling across Europe in hideous trousers or standing with their legs apart trying to look masculine, I wonder what they would do if they could see themselves.

A woman should look like a woman, and she is feminine, attractive and alluring when she is wearing a skirt. A great number of restaurants up to two years ago would not admit a woman wearing trousers.

Quoted from her book called Barbara Cartland's Etiquette For Love And Romance, p. 34. Before writing angry comments, please remember: don't shoot the messenger:) 

zondag 18 oktober 2015

The Life Of Cats

When there is nothing particularly intellectual or sophisticated to write about, blog about cats:)
Now aren't they funny?














And, like, very sweet, sometimes:













For better or for worse, they are none of them like our poor Frodo was, whose chief entertainment in life was fighting with other cats and who virtually knew no fear. Those two are afraid of their own shadow! The little one doesn't venture outside, his eldest "brother" goes out only if there is no one or nothing suspicious around. A whistling postman is enough to cause him vapours and fainting fits.

Enfin, may be it is for the best...